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MV Whisman trustees vote to raise their pay

Original post made on Oct 13, 2011

In a split vote, the Mountain View Whisman School District's board of trustees voted last week to give themselves a raise.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 13, 2011, 11:54 AM

Comments (18)

Posted by gcoladon, a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

You're a good man, Steve Olson!


Posted by Charlene, a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Eegads!! Kudos to the one who stood up for whats right. This is really an honorary position, it just doesn't look right. Just my opinion. I may be wrong, but shouldn't it be a privilege to serve on the board? And okay, if you are allowed to collect some token stipend, to vote for it yourselves? Really? Thanks for letting me have my say.


Posted by Deb, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

How many bodies can raise their own pay? The city council can't. The state legislature needs the governor to sign the bill. Same thing with Congress needing the president's signature. Can the county board of supervisors do it? The hospital board? Water district board?


Posted by Thom, a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm

"it never looks good when you vote to give yourself a raise."

especially when the unemployment rate is over +12% accounting for people that have no benefits coming in. I know it isn't a big dollar amount but timing is everything.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Folks, Since $260/month works out to less than $10/hr, and our board members frequently run unopposed, I suggest those of you truly upset about this take out candidates papers and run next time! Mr. Olson's point is well taken, except in the future when things are going good, and the board needs a bigger raise to "catch-up" the hew and cry from those who believe good government should be free would be beyond discussion. All this money buys is some baby sitting during board meetings if you need it.

Thanks to all MVWSD board members for your service to our community!


Posted by Costs, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm

In a contested election, merely having your candidate statement printed in the voters guide costs over $2,000. The District may cover a small portion of that, but most local elected officials are serving at a net loss financially. Even with the newly granted $8/month.


Posted by Jes' Sayin', a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm

"No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

Do you know where these words come from? The 27th amendment, written by the James Madison, the father of the constitution. If it's good enough for the US Congress, why not also for our school board?

Separate the issue of whether they *need* a raise from the method of gaining a raise. Is the way they have done it the right way to do it? I think not.


Posted by Costs, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Jes-Sayin'

While you're separating issues...You also need to separate the issue of whether they did it the right way versus whether you think it's the right way.

Local jurisdictions don't necessarily follow the laws written for the US Senate. If you want to change the State laws (or look them up), go for it.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Our government stinks right down to the local school board. What a terrible message to send.

And who wants to bet only half this story was actually reported?

Now the tough question. What else was on the table for this vote? Does the school district still pay for trustee health insurance? At what rate? And for who? Teachers are on the hook for assuming 10-15% of their costs with their new contract which will consume whatever "raise" they are getting.


Posted by Interested Reader, a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:22 am

The district does not pay for trustee health insurance and never has in the last 20 years that I've followed the district. Some of the trustees elect to use their stipend to pay part of the premium due if they want to buy into the group insurance plan. They pay any balance owed themselves.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2011 at 6:30 am

Interested Reader:

What don't you understand about what you wrote above? If trustees are allowed to buy into the school district plan, the district is paying for a large part of their health insurance. The district covers 80%-100% of the cost to insure said participants depending on the plan selected. And you are flat out wrong in stating that the district has not been insuring some trustees in the last twenty years. It most definitely has. Here's a hint. They tend to be the longest running members. And that's where the true monetary value of being a board member lies for those that are insured by the district. Please don't be so naive to assume that all politicians act with are best interests at heart. The only exception here is Mr. Olson. It certainly would be refreshing if the Voice could report on all benefits for trustees, rather than firing off a half-cocked article which tells us little and deceives.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

Only on this ridiculous message board would one see so much hot air blown about a nominal increase to a nominal stipend for people that put in a ton of hours in service to their community.

You can like or dislike what the Trustees do (I have plenty of issues with them, but thats really not the point), but the fact is they all put in probably about 5x as much time as you think they do. This is not some sort of stepping stone to "higher" public office. Its a hard and thankless job.

If you're unhappy with the school board, run against them. If you want to rail against a <$500 annual expense increase in a $40M budget, dont expect anyone to take you seriously. This is the least important issue in the history of school board complainers.

I'm just waiting for someone to blame this on Maurice Ghysels


Posted by Litsa, a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

If I had the power to vote on giving myself a raise. Hell yeah, I would. I wouldn't think twice about it, but then again. That's just me.


Posted by KD, a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm

This from the MVWSD website: www . mvwsd.org/middle-schools/77-district/308

Health and Welfare Benefits

Board members may participate in the health and welfare benefits program provided for district employees.

Health and welfare benefits for Board members shall be no greater than that received by district's nonsafety employees with the most generous schedule of benefits. (Government Code 53208.5)

Board members who elect to participate in medical benefits shall pay the full cost of premiums.

Board members may elect to participate in dental benefits at no cost to the member.



Benefits for Retired Board Members

Retired Board members may participate in the health and welfare benefits program provided for district employees under the conditions specified below.

Health and welfare benefits for Board members shall be no greater than that received by district's nonsafety employees with the most generous schedule of benefits. (Government Code 53208.5)

Because the district did not pay health and welfare benefits for retired Board members before January 1, 1994, any former member retiring from the Board after at least one term may continue the health and welfare benefits program at his/her own expense if coverage is in effect at the time of retirement. (Government Code 53201)

The benefits authorized for retired Board members shall be extended at the same level to the retired Board member's spouse, dependent children under the age of 21, dependent children under the age of 25 who are full-time students at a college or university, and dependent children regardless of age who are physically or mentally incapacitated.


Posted by Wow, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Wow, that's quite a benefit by today's standards!!!

Free dental and you get to keep your insurance after only one term!

I just love how all this is kept in the closet and out of view.

Thanks, KD, for enlightening us all.


Posted by Interested Reader , a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm

To Observer: you are simply wrong in your response comments. And,btw, I totally agree with Eric - all of this is "much ado about nothing!"


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

Wrong? Really? Then how do explain that Board Member Wheeler paid in $1,696 to the district's medical, dental and vision plan last year? Board Member Walter paid in $1,850. Board Member Palmer paid in $1,696. Board Member Olson paid in $1,224. Board Member Bailey paid in $672.

It's publicly available information for citizens and journalists alike who are bothered to think for themselves and not like sheeple.

Web Link

Glad I could help set you straight.


Posted by Interested Reader, a resident of another community
on Oct 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

To Observer: PLUS,PLUS, PLUS their stipend amount that would be approx. another $3000.


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